1657: Newport operated the first ferry service in the nation.
1673: The White Horse Tavern is built, the oldest tavern building in continuous use in the United States.
1687: Newport was the first city to pass a traffic ordinance.
1699: The Quaker Meeting House is built, Rhode Island’s oldest house of worship.
1716: Schoolhouse in Portsmouth is built, and today is the oldest schoolhouse in the United States.
Newport has the oldest military unit in continuous service under its original charter from 1741.
1745: The Redwood Library & Athenaeum is established, the oldest circulating library in continuous use in the United States.
1750: Newport was the site of the first duplex house, located at 57 Farewell Street.
1758: The Newport Mercury was founded, the oldest newspaper in continuous operation in the United States. (EDIT: Closed)
1759: Touro Synagogue built in Newport, the oldest in synagogue the United States.
1774: Newport hosted the first circus in the country.
May 4, 1776: Newport, the colonial capital of Rhode Island, was the first of the thirteen colonies to declare its independence from England.
1781: Newport held the first notable celebration of George Washington’s birthday, hosted by Count De Rochambeau of France.
1803: The first gas-illuminated streetlights in United States were lit on Newport’s Pelham Street.
1819: BankNewport founded, the oldest mutual savings bank in the United States.
1854: The first New York Yacht Club Regatta, the oldest sailing regatta in the country.
1857-1911: Ida Lewis, the first female lighthouse keeper, operated the Lime Rock Light. Her many saves were legendary and she was visited by President Ulysses S. Grant and Vice-President Schuyler Colfax.
1866: Newport was the site of the first public roller skating rink in the United States, housed inside a see-and-be-seen resort hotel, the Atlantic House.
1866: Newport had the first photograph taken by electric light.
1886: Newport was home to the first International Polo Match.
1884: Newport is home to the oldest US Naval War College.
1895: Newport hosted golf’s first Amateur Championship at Newport Country Club.
1895: Newport hosted golf’s first US Open at Newport Country Club.
1895: Newport was home to the first auto race.
1899: Newport was home to the first National Lawn Tennis Championships.
1904: Newport was the site of the first automobile arrest in the country when the offender was charged with driving 15 miles per hour.
1930-1983: The prestigious America’s Cup, the oldest trophy in international sport, was raced in the waters off Newport.
1975: The Cliff Walk became the first designated National Recreation Trail in New England.
1995 and 1996: Newport hosted the first two years of the ESPN X-Games.
Newport was the site of the first airplane passenger line in the United states between Newport and New York City.
Newport is home to the oldest typewriter in America which can be found at the Newport Historical Society.
Trinity Church has the only three-tiered wineglass pulpit in its original location in the United States.
Newport has more colonial homes in use than any other location in the United States.
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